Please enjoy this excerpt from Racing Wisely, online at Competitor Running today. Yoga students will recognize the approach outlined here, as will experienced endurance athletes. I hope it’ll inspire you to pay attention to your form and breath, to sharpen your focus, and, frankly, to buy the book, which you can be reading in its entirety in under one minute when you buy an e-edition from Kindle, Smashwords, or Kobo!
Racing wisely means making choices that align with your intention and goals while properly managing your energy. The key to this wisdom is in your mind, not your heart, lungs, or legs. It’s the wisdom to know when you can and should work to change a situation—in your pacing, equipment, nutrition, hydration—and to know how to do it efficiently. It’s also the wisdom to recognize what you cannot change, and to know how to react to these situations with grace and humor.
Your mental skills will make or break your race. Being mentally sharp and canny can help you overcome spotty or mediocre training. Conversely, crumbling mentally will lead to a subpar performance, no matter how well prepared you are.
Good mental skills are honed in training. You develop them organ- ically as you challenge yourself, learning focus, staying relaxed even while you work hard. Every time you surpass your perceived limits in training, you learn that you are capable of more than you think—especially when you stay focused. Mental skills help you stay present in the race. We call this presence mindfulness.